Converse is a great brand of skateboarding shoes. Not only do they have a wide selection of shoes to choose from, but they also have a full line dedicated to skateboarding, Converse CONS. The CONS are specifically designed for skateboarding and have many features that make them a great choice of a skate shoe.
When skateboarding, you need shoes that are durable, light, and flexible, all of which are features that you get in Converse.
To be honest, many shoe brands have shoes that are good enough to skate in. However, Converse is one of the classic brands that has been worn by skaters around the world for decades.
Pros Of Converse As Skate Shoes
The OGs of skate shoes have many reasons to be worn. Not only do Converse always look good (even when they’re worn in), they also stand the test of time as an all-around great shoe, whether it is for skateboarding, going for a stroll in the suburbs, or skateboarding.
- Double-lined canvas; once one lining wears down, there is a second layer to protect your feet.
- Rubber toe caps that protect your toes reduce wear from flip tricks.
Cons Of Skating In CONS
Converse is one of the original skateboard shoes. However, there are a few downsides to using the old school Converse instead of updating to the newer, bulkier skate shoes of today.
- Less ankle support than many other mid to high-top skate shoes.
- Thin canvas; although it’s breathable, it wears fast from performing ollies and flip tricks.
What Makes Converse Shoes Good for Skateboarding?
The Converse CONS line is a collection of classic Converse shoes that have been redesigned specifically for skateboarding.
The rubber soles on the Converse shoes are made of a special kind of rubber that can be used on boards. The rubber will not spoil, it will increase grip, and it is flexible.
The CONS line features more cushioning inside the shoe for better shock absorption and distribution. While old-fashioned Chucks were quite thin, these new versions protect the foot considerably better while also keeping the Converse design.
Other features of the CONS line of shoes include an elasticized tongue, rubber toe cap, and they come in both mid-top and high-top versions for better ankle support and protection.
Although not all Converse shoes are ideal for skating, the CONS line is a fantastic choice as long as you stick to the suede shoes and avoid the canvas ones.
Canvas can get ripped easily, especially if you are doing tricks. When you have a new grip tape on your deck and you start skating, the tape will eat through the canvas. So choose a shoe with something like leather or suede on its top.
Converse in Skateboarding: A Brief History
Converse began with basketball shoes. These sneakers were constructed of canvas and rubber, which made them lightweight and bendy while still providing traction for basketball players on the court.
Skaters rode barefoot in the early days of skateboarding to try to replicate surfing. Being barefoot gave them much control, allowing them to feel the board better.
As skateboarding grew in popularity among non-surfers, skaters searched for a shoe that provided them with similar levels of control.
They began with the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star, which they had borrowed from basketball players. The same characteristics that made the Chuck Taylor a great basketball shoe made it an excellent skateboard shoe as well.
When skateboarding exploded in the 1980s, several companies rushed to cater to the suddenly huge market. Because of all the new shoes that proved to be superior for skating, Converse slowly became out of style. For a time.
Vans and Airwalk, two of the most well-known skate shoes in the early 1980s, created more durable shoes that had all of the qualities of Converse shoes, as well as a few of their own.
In 2009, Converse launched a skate-specific line named Converse CONS.
The new CONS are designed with the same appearance as classic Converse sneakers, but they have been made to be more durable than the original.
Qualities In A Good Skateboard Shoe
Some of the qualities that you should look for in a good skateboarding shoe include:
- A flexible sole; allows you to feel the board better.
- Good grip.
- Support for your arch and ankle.
- Breathability is very important as well because skateboarding shoes are often worn on long days of skating. You don’t want sweaty feet!
Skateboarding shoes should be lightweight, durable, flexible, and have good support.
Skating in heavy shoes can slow the skater down and may contribute to fatigue. It could also make it more difficult to feel the board beneath your feet, which means you’d have less control.
If you’re riding a skateboard, it’s important to have shoes that let you feel the board beneath you while also providing protection and comfort. Furthermore, flexibility enables skaters to stay on their feet when they fall. The shoes must provide safety and comfort without getting in the way.
The bottom layer of the shoe, known as the sole, must be scratch and scuff resistant while also being flexible and sturdy for the skater.
Because of this, many skate shoe manufacturers use vulcanized rubber on the soles, which increases the longevity of the shoes. Using vulcanized rubber can also save material by cutting down on the amount that is required.
Skaters’ feet will endure a lot of abuse, therefore it’s critical to have some level of shock absorption and shock distribution in the sole. Cushioning is generally placed in the middle and inner soles, where shock absorption may be found, while various pads are positioned around the heel.
What Kind Of Ankle Support Do You Need? Low-Tops, Mid-Tops, Or High-Tops?
Ankle protection may be a factor that you consider when choosing a skate shoe. And if so you have three options:
Low-top Converse skate shoes are very flexible, which allows the ankles to move more freely. However, this benefit is also a drawback because there’s less protection for your feet and ankles in low-top Converse.
Low-tops give you the best range of motion, but they provide no ankle protection. The ankle is completely exposed, with no direct support. Bruises and abrasions from the board striking your ankle when doing tricks are more likely.
Low-tops are the lightest shoe because there is less of it. For many skaters, the lighter weight and greater range of motion are worth the sacrifice in ankle protection.
Mid-tops provide enough ankle support without getting too restrictive. Additionally, mid-tops provide greater protection from the board.
Mid-top shoes are a happy medium, providing enough ankle support without constricting movement or weighing you down. Mid-tops offer better coverage around your ankles and more padding for impact absorption than low-tops do.
On the other side of the spectrum are high-tops, which completely wrap and support the ankle. While they won’t prevent sprains or fractures entirely, they do offer greater impact protection.
High-tops provide the most protection of any type of skate shoe, offering complete coverage and support for your ankles. However, you’ll get less overall flexibility with high-top shoes than you will with low-tops or mid-tops.
Skateboard Shoes That Compare To Converse
Converse isn’t the only brand of skateboard shoe that you can wear while skateboarding. However, Converse are some of the most popular because they’re affordable and comfortable for skaters to wear every day.
Here are a few other good options that provide similar benefits to Converse shoes:
- Vans offer a range of shoes that are very similar to Converse. They’re lightweight and flexible, just like the low-tops from Converse, but they do offer some ankle protection in the form of padding.
- DC Shoes have comparable low-top options for skateboarding as well. However, these shoes feature more cushioning than Converse, which is great for skaters who want to take things easier on their feet.
- Etnies, provide a range of low-top and mid-top options that skateboarders use while skating on their boards. Their shoes are lightweight, flexible, durable, comfortable to wear long-term — and they have the added benefit of more padding for impact absorption than Converse offers.
There are so many other amazing skateboard shoe brands to mention like Nike, Adidas, Puma, Emerica, Lakai, and Globe.
We require a shoe that is both durable and light. The impact must be absorbed while still allowing the rider to feel the board beneath their feet, so comfort and protection are essential partners.
There are several excellent skate shoes on the market, and Converse, which has been associated with skateboarding practically since the start of the sport, can be a fantastic choice.
If you’re going to get Converse as your skateboarding shoes then make sure to get the either suede or leather Converse.